The emergence and development of future-oriented information seeking

Hayward, Natalie (2015). The emergence and development of future-oriented information seeking Honours Thesis, School of Psychology, The University of Queensland.

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Author Hayward, Natalie
Thesis Title The emergence and development of future-oriented information seeking
School, Centre or Institute School of Psychology
Institution The University of Queensland
Publication date 2015-10-07
Thesis type Honours Thesis
Supervisor Thomas Suddendorf
Total pages 169
Language eng
Subjects 1701 Psychology
Formatted abstract
The ability to acquire information to prepare for a future challenge is fundamental to human survival. Little, however, is known about the development of this integral behaviour, or possible mechanism which may facilitate and motivate its maturation through childhood. The current project had three distinct aims: 1) to verify previous research suggesting an emergence by5 years of age; 2) to determine possible relationship of improve information seeking behaviour between four and 5 year-olds, with various cognitive capabilities; and 3) to explore learning effects and adaptability of future-oriented information search strategies. Study 1. used a behavioural paradigm to determine the difference between 4 and 5 year-olds in information seeking for the future. It was found that, contrary to previous research (Redshaw, unpublished), 4 year-olds were as capable as 5 year-olds in prioritising and studying relevant information for a future task. No learning effects were found to occur, such that children did not improve in information seeking on a repeated information search task. Furthermore, the study found that mental time travel, source of knowledge and inhibition were associated with performance on the information search task. Working memory and rehearsal understanding did not predict performance. Study 2. used a web-based task , parallel to study 1., to explore the developmental trajectory of information seeking for the future within school-aged children, as well as learning effects. It was found that studying of relevant stimuli improved with age. Furthermore, children showed a distinct learning effect. It is proposed that the development of future-oriented information seeking requires both maturation of cognitive abilities and “experience” in present-action and future-reward contingency. Theoretical implications with regard to future-oriented information search and episodic foresight are discussed.
Keyword Emergence

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Created: Wed, 04 May 2016, 09:03:23 EST by Lisa Perry on behalf of School of Psychology